The day Billy buried Freddy
WILLIAM Olsen (Billy), Service Number 4523 from Tingoora and Frederick Williams (Freddy), Service Number 5098 from Spring Hill Brisbane were members of the 25th Battalion which was the first A.I.F. battalion to arrive in France on 19 March 1916.
Both Billy and Freddy joined their Battalion in France after March 1916 as part of the 11th and 13th Reinforcements respectively.
By 1918 the 25th Battalion was exhausted from deaths and casualties having fought the German spring offensive in April and then in the battles of Morlancourt, Hamel, Amiens and Somme Valley.
In September 1918 the 25th Battalion was ordered to disband and reinforce other battalions, but its troops mutinied, wanting to stay together to get the job done. They won a temporary reprieve and fought on.
On 3 OCTOBER 1918 the 25th Battalion went into battle for the last time with orders to break through the German defences on the Beaurevoir Line and hold that line.
Around 7-30 am the Battalion attacked the German line and Freddy was throwing a bomb into a machine gun post he was cut down by machine gun shells and killed instantly.
Freddy's fellow soldiers Tealby, McDowell, Paterson and Olsen saw him get killed and later recorded his death in official H.Q. documents.
The attacked was successful and the Beaurevoir Line was taken.
Billy Olsen returned to where Freddy lay dead and in a final act of mateship he dug a grave and buried Freddy where he had fallen.
Two days later, on October 5, 1918 the surviving members of the 25th Battalion, as part of the 2nd Australian Division, were engaged in the last Australian infantry attack of WW1 when they took the town of MONTEBREHAIN from the Germans.
On October 12, 1918 the 25th Battalion was disbanded.
Freddy's remains were later exhumed and moved to the Prospect Hill cemetery in Gouy, France.
Billy Olsen, survived the war and returned to Kingaroy where he married Edith Northcott and raised a family. Billy had the mail run from Kingaroy to Kumbia and was also a cream carrier in the district before moving to the coast at Torquay where he died on 16th April 1951. Billy is buried in the TINGOORA Cemetery.
On this 100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY the WILLIAMS family remembers the ultimate price that their Freddy made and thanks the OLSEN family for the mateship and dignity their Billy showed to his fallen mate.
R.I.P. Freddy and Billy.